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Soul Quest Adventure - Men's Deep Nature Immersion & Fast


This pan-cultural rite of passage ceremony has supported men become and remain generative for millennia. It is offered here as a 12-day programme incorporating a 4 day solo fast in nature with ongoing peer mentoring before and after.

Sunset in Assynt 2019 ©Paul J Howell

Sunset in Assynt 2019 ©Paul J Howell

Holding the first mens vision quest in 2018 here in Scotland was an incredible experience. I remember waiting at sunrise on the final day of the solo fast. The golden light streamed across the ocean as sunrise slowly penetrated the silent forest. I broke down base-camp then prepared simple food and readied the fire, awaiting the return of the men. 

Filled with anticipation and excitement, not knowing what stories, wisdom and insight they would return with - after such a courageous investment on their part, a deep sense of witnessing the primal dawn slowly grew with the return of light, and the invitation to live another day, another life. 

This is a sincere invitation to embark upon and to deepen your hero and heroines journey by way of a vision quest, including a 4 day fast in the wilderness, in solitude. 

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This is not for everyone, and offers you no guarantee of healing, growth or any particular revelation. It's about you, stepping out of the conventional world and fiercly into your own life. 

It is not a magic pill or miracle cure. It is an opportunity to make time and space in your life to honour your deep wise self; that indestructible tender soft spot we all carry deep within, that lies beneath and before our our everyday awareness. We do this as a way to listen, and ten respond to the primal images waiting therein.

It's an invite to meet yourself as you actually are, to honour where you've been, and make some deep vows to where you are headed next. 

To undergo this ordeal requires significant commitment, courage, focus, dedication and preparation over an extended period. The end of this 12 day rite of passage is the beginning of your own ongoing incorporation practice. It also requires humility, the willingness not to know, and trust you will be met by what you most need to meet.

Of ancient psycho-spiritual origin and offered here with zero dogma, just diligent guidance and practical support, you will be prepared to meet your authentic reflection in the mirror of the wild natural world. Thereafter as a part of a community you will be welcomed back to share the stories and insights you returned with; part a feast after the fast. The practice of mirroring by way of council will help you start to integrate and embody the significance of these encounters with, not just for yourself but the world at large. 

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A vision quest, when adequately prepared for and sincerely approached, (with reverence, humility and a good handful of mischief), offers us a vision of our true self as seen through the eyes of the wild and natural world. As it mirrors back the essential images awaiting in our soul, it reveals to us both in sensation and story the unique desires, gifts and purpose that belong to us and which are ours alone to steward. 

As an extra bonus, undergoing the ordeal of a vision fast enlarges our fundamental sense of belonging, often way beyond our rational capacities and leaves us with a splinter of awe buried deep inside our hearts.

In this way we are able to blend the archaic archetypal images flowing out of our indigenous ancestry, with the personal images bestowed by our present culture and personal biography, and allow them to be woven through and encapsulated within the deep wisdom of nature. At best, it’s an alchemical journey of healing, growth and embodiment as we learn how to apprentice ourselves to our soul's wisdom. From this place we can, without guilt or regret, set aside all that isn’t ours to carry and set about living the truth of our unique lives, one day, one step at a time.  

"This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." Shakespeare. 

Gathering on land first inhabited by the Picts 5000 years ago, near ancient middens, a short distance from Macbeth’s castle and the battleground of Culloden, amidst abbeys and neolithic stone circles, we will already be walking on the mythical grounds that have shaped the soul of Britain and thus its legacies. 

As a community our intention will be simple: to witness, bless and celebrate the significant transitions in our lives. Offered in a contemporary form it’s a bio, psycho, social necessity for those wishing to harness the gifts of their deep wise imagination, in authentic relationship with the wild natural world.

To register your interest and request an information pack and application form, please email me at:    

connect@pauljhowell.com

Places are limited to 9 and requires a minimum of 6 to run - Age 18 and up.

You can hear me speak to this event in 4 rough and ready parts below. The Helios Fellowship is a leadership and peer mentoring project I’ve developed specifically to explore the idea of generative masculinity. You can view it’s website at www.theheliosfellowship.org